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Wearing a red hijab and all-encompassing gown, Sakdiyah Maruf cuts an unusual figure in a dark, smoky Jakarta bar as she reels off taboo-breaking jokes to laughter from a rapt audience. She is a rare character in Indonesia – a female Muslim stand-up using humor to challenge prejudice against women and rising religious intolerance. Despite resistance from those who believe a woman's place is not on stage cracking jokes, even within her own family, the 34-year-old has forged ahead and is winning fans at home and abroad.Still, Maruf has not been put off and her irreverent brand of humor has won her fans outside Indonesia.Maruf remains confident that Indonesia will remain a tolerant country – not least because a devout Muslim woman like herself can still get up on stage and crack jokes.
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